Ordinance on crime against women comes before Parliament



New Delhi: The Ordinance bringing stringent amendments to criminal laws to check crime against women was on Thursday laid on the table in the Rajya Sabha.

Government will bring a bill incorporating some more provisions to replace the Ordinance in this session. The bill is before the Union Cabinet.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla laid a copy of the "Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2013" promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee on February 3 before the House.

The Ordinance, based on the recommendations of the Justice J S Verma Committee and going beyond, proposes to provide death penalty in cases of rape that leads to death of the victim or leaving her in a vegetative state. It also seeks to replace the word 'rape' with 'sexual assault' to expand the definition of all types sexual crimes against women.

The Ordinance also proposed enhanced punishment for other crimes against women like stalking, voyeurism, acid attacks, indecent gestures like words and inappropriate touch and brings into its ambit 'marital rape'.

The Union Cabinet, at a specially-convened meeting in the first week of this month, went beyond the Verma Committee's recommendation by providing for capital punishment in the cases where rape leads to death of the victim or leaves her in "persistent vegetative state".

The ordinance also said that if a person facing acid attack kills the accused in the process of self defence, then she will be protected under the 'right to self defence'.

Besides this, Shukla also laid on the table of the House, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 promulgated by the President on January 21 and the Readjustment of Representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Ordinance, 2013 promulgated by the President on January 30.

PTI